‘Sweetie Pie’s’ Mom Sues Partner Son
On the hit OWN Network show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” restaurateurs Miss Robbie and her son and business partner Tim seem to be at the head of a big, happy family business, but apparently reality shows aren’t always reality.
According to court documents, Robbie Montgomery, the owner of the St. Louis-based Sweetie Pie’s chain, is suing her son, Tim Norman, for infringement of her trademark over the use of the “Sweetie Pie’s” name at restaurants he has opened in St. Louis and Los Angeles.
Montgomery, a former backup singer for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, opened her first restaurant in Dellwood, Missouri in 1996 and registered the trademark in 2012, the documents say. Another location on Manchester Avenue in St. Louis is the best known, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With the help of the OWN show, the restaurant chain has become so successful that it even released a companion cookbook. In 2015, Montgomery began to grant franchises to authorized restaurants to use the trademark.
But Mongomery says in her lawsuit that Norman infringed on the trademark with the opening of an eatery known as TJ’s Sweetie Pie’s NOHO, which was depicted in a 2015 episode of the show and used signage with that name to promote it. Other restaurants in Berkeley, Missouri and Flourissant, Missouri were subsequently opened, each of which Montgomery says violates trademark rules.
She also says Norman has taken money from the Manchester location and used it for his restaurants. Despite demanding the monies be returned, Norman has refused, says the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Neither Montgomery or Norman have commented publicly on the case.
“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” most recent episode first aired in January on the OWN Network. The show has won two NAACP Image Awards.
However, tragedy has also struck the family recently when Montgomery’s grandson, Andre, 21, was shot and killed at a home in St. Louis in March. He had been featured in earlier seasons of the show.